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West End At The Fringe – The SPACE @ Symposium Hall (Venue 43) - 2nd – 24th August 2013

Published by: Jon Cuthbertson on 5th Aug 2013 | View all blogs by Jon Cuthbertson


It’s always hard to decide what to see at The Fringe – so many shows, so little time. Even narrowing it down to deciding on seeing a musical can see you leafing through pages of the Fringe brochure trying to pick the one to see. Well, if it’s musicals you are looking for, I can save you some time. West End At The Fringe is a revue show that has pulled together a great selection of songs from musicals, added some great young talent and set itself in one of the comfiest theatres you will find on the Fringe.

Revue shows can very much be hit or miss – the song selection needs to be clever and producer Emma McGuire seems to have had a checklist to create this show as there was definitely something for everyone. From classics from Andrew Lloyd Webber, to some lesser known Sondheim, via modern musicals like The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee the variety was a smart mix of ballads and comedy numbers, solos, duets and group numbers to make sure that if you didn’t like a certain song, then something would pop up next to take your fancy.

However, it is all very well having the song list, but you need voices to make it work. Will Hawksworth’s rendition of Til I Hear You Sing from the Phantom Of The Opera sequel, Love Never Dies, was both emotional and flawless as a performance – this is a name for the future. Another name for the future is Emma Ralston. Her version of Worst Pies In London let us see that not only did she have the voice, but had comic timing too before wowing with her version of Wizard and I (with the obligatory green spotlight!). James Irving had seemed to be a supporting cast member until his touching rendition of I’m Not That Smart and he made the most of his moment in the spotlight. Vanessa Carr was the bubbly blonde of the cast – and seemed to use the smile as a cover in the first few numbers, however her truthful performance in With You from Ghost The Musical was genuinely touching. Natalie Law looked to be genuinely enjoying her time on stage and made the most of the interactions between songs – but don’t let that fool you – she has the voice to match and rocked out during Hammer to Fall and alongside Vanessa and Emma gave my highlight of the show – Let Me Be Your Star from Smash (ok – they cheated – it’s never been on in the West End – it’s from a TV show – but I’m forgiving them because it’s a brilliant song and they do it so well!).

All this would be nothing without music and Musical Director Ross Leadbetter makes a single keyboard suddenly sound like a full orchestra! I’m pleased to see a live musician as part of this show as all too often these revue’s on the Fringe are to recorded music, but live performances should be just that – live! So all credit to MCG Productions for putting the money where their mouth is.

At an ideal lunchtime slot, this is a great way to start off your day out at The Fringe, so if you are in or visiting the East Coast, go to West End At The Fringe. And don’t forget – genuinely the most comfortable seats on The Fringe – they should have it on the flyer!


2nd – 10th August @ 12pm
12th – 24th August @ 1pm (excluding 18th)

Tickets £10/£8

Box Office: 0131 510 2385

Web: or


1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 5 years ago
    Thanks, Jon. I'm so glad that we have some coverage of the Fringe here. A great review ... and this sounds like a revue with great vision ;)
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